January 30, 1984

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

BUSINESS OF SUPPLY

NDP

Ian Deans (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Deans:

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the Hon. Member for Oshawa (Mr. Broadbent) is not able to be here this morning. I request that the Hon. Member for Vancouver East (Ms. Mitchell) be allowed to move the motion in his name.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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LIB

Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Pinard:

Agreed.

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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

Erik Nielsen (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

We do not believe that any such request is necessary. The Hon. Member can rise and move the motion in the absence of the Hon. Member for Oshawa. While we do not refuse consent, for the record we do not consent because we do not think it is necessary.

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LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The Chair would like to proceed this way today but has made a note of the remarks of the Hon. Member for Yukon and would prefer to discuss the matter privately with the House Leaders to see if another arrangement could be arrived at for future occasions.

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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East) moved:

That this House endorse a program to be incorporated into the forthcoming budget that will:

1. provide for employee consultation in the introduction of technological change;

2. provide flexible work arrangements to minimize job losses;

3. ease the impact on the employees affected by technological change by having the corporate sector pay a fairer-share of the costs through longer prenotification periods and improved severance pay;

4. expand the necessary retraining programs; and

5. encourage technological changes that promote new products, industries and jobs.

[DOT] (1110)

She said: I welcome the opportunity to move the Opposition motion which you have just read, Mr. Speaker. I also welcome the opportunity to be the first speaker for the NDP on the very important subject of technological change in Canada. The impact of the micro-electronic revolution already is upon us. The future holds many exciting challenges. It also creates many fears for Canadians who face job displacement and

unemployment unless major government planning is undertaken now in co-operation with all sectors of our economy to make high technology work for people and for our society as a whole.

Recently our Leader introduced a paper called "NDP Program for a Fair Recovery" which proposes a number of initiatives which are essential if we are to make the high technology revolution work for people as well as to increase Canadian productivity in world markets.

Before dealing with this proposal, 1 want to review the human side of technological change. The examples I give are not new but are repeated from studies and case situations which have been presented recently to an NDP task force on technological change which is currently touring in my Province of British Columbia. Let us take shopping centres for example. The next time you go to a shopping centre, Mr. Speaker, look at the automated cash registers which soon will replace most clerks, warehouse workers and office services in the local supermarket. Customers soon will put their goods over an electronic plate which returns change and bills. Security staff will replace clerks, accountants and most workers who are now employed. Of course, they will join the ranks of the hidden unemployed.

We have heard a lot about offices of the future which will displace secretaries, paperwork and even middle management personnel. Our new toy here on the Hill, word processors, will soon be obsolete. Each manager will control his or her own desk computer. The British Columbia task force was told that 86 telephone operators are due for layoff in the Terrace region because of automation. This has already taken place in several other nearby areas. A pulp mill near Prince George which is being automated will be run by only 12 technicians with a dramatic layoff of workers. In a report called "The Future of Micro Electronics" Barrow and Curner stated that the following workers will be displaced by the micro-electronic revolution: postal workers, typists, retail clerks, stock clerks, cashiers, telephone operators, draft persons and accountants. Robots will replace warehouse workers. Data preparation staff and computer operators soon will be obsolete, as will junior and middle managers. Electric plates will replace library assistants. Proofreaders, compositors, meter readers and telephone repair people will be redundant.

Researcher Jane Stintson of the Canadian Union of Public Employees stated that within 25 years 50 per cent of today's jobs will no longer exist. The President of General Motors estimates that 90 per cent of that corporation's new equipment will be computer controlled by 1988. By 1985, female unemployment could reach as high as 26 per cent overall. By 1990 it is estimated that nearly one million more women will be unemployed due to advances in clerical areas of work. British

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sources predict that a reduction of one-third of all clerical jobs is imminent. Even the Liberal Government forecasts, in a Cabinet document called "The Rocky Road to 1990", grim results. This document which was put out in July, 1983 forecasts accelerated job losses in traditional job sectors, such as the automobile industry and farm machinery. As new technology is generated the report stresses the need for a highly skilled and flexible labour force. Of course, we know that most of our skilled labourers are traditionally imported. It states that many jobs lost in the recession will never be recovered. Overall up to half the jobs in manufacturing will be lost, and up to one quarter of the jobs in business and financial services. This is the federal Government's report, Mr. Speaker.

The report concludes that at least two million jobs must be added over the next eight years to keep unemployment at reasonable levels-and they call reasonable around 10 per cent, which we do not accept. To accommodate a growing labour force and increasing numbers of young people, we estimate that twice this many new jobs should be created.

For those who remain employed in high-tech industries there are fears as to who will direct, plan and control their lives and who will reap the profits. Technology is not neutral. It is often characterized by fast, short-term gains, central control systems, lack of confidentiality and personal rights. There is usually very little planning for people. The magic word productivity is the goal. However, we must ask productivity for whom? This analysis does not mean that the NDP is adopting a Luddite approach. We do not intend to smash the machines that threaten people. Change is here, and we all know that much more change is imminent. Much of it is exciting for those who are included and involved in the process. We welcome technological advances provided the goal of those advances is to promote the welfare of our society as a whole and that productivity gains are shared by all Canadians.

We do not want to develop a high-tech elite who are the new aristocracy of Canada while millions of our citizens remain unemployed. Those on unemployment insurance and welfare who have little consumer money for consumer goods will cause small businesses to fail through lack of customers.

For several years Heather Menzies and other researchers have warned that traditional women's jobs will be the First to go. The examples of redundant jobs, which I summarized earlier, primarily are jobs in the service and clerical sector where women are concentrated. As men and industry are displaced by robots, they will also be competing for fewer and fewer jobs. Yet studies show that women who in increasing numbers are the sole supporters of their families will remain in the labour force. We are not going to disappear, as we did after the Second World War.

I would like to quote from the magazine called "The Facts" put out by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. It states:

The lack of growth and job loss will have a disproportionate effect on women in Canada. Women are expected to bear the brunt of the micro-electronic revolution because their employment is concentrated in the service sector.

Almost 80 per cent of working women are concentrated in only five of 22 major occupational classifications: clerical, service, sales, medicine and health and teaching. What is more, the participation of women in the labour force is expected to continue to increase as it did through the 1970s.

A study prepared for the Department of Finance in 1980 suggested a 40 per cent increase in the female labour force by 1990, an additional 1.8 million women will be looking for work and have the right to work. Meanwhile the service sector in which traditionally women have been finding jobs is contracting.

We know many women are being replaced and forced into part-time jobs as a result both of the recession and the technological revolution. Part-time workers are not unionized, receive low rates of pay and have no benefits. I have argued repeatedly in this House that government action must be undertaken immediately to provide pro-rated benefits, better unemployment insurance coverage for part-time workers, and the rights of these workers, 70 per cent of whom are women, to organize.

The Conservative Leader sees technology as a boon to women and says that the microchip opens up a brand-new opportunity for millions of women. He has said: "Thanks to the chip, women as a group will have the opportunity to break out of low-paying work ghettos". It is time he got his head out of the boardroom and learned about real life where women are the main victims of technological change.

Another concern of women is the trend toward high-tech cottage industries where once again they will be isolated in the home with no union protection or rights. An executive said recently that this would solve daycare problems. Some solution! How would you like to work in the home Mr. Speaker, watching the kids, cooking supper, cleaning house and running a home computer for a firm which cares little whether you are sick or well or whether you need an adequate pay cheque to feed your family? Canadian women must not tolerate this kind of exploitation once again. I am glad women's groups across the country are having workshops and conferences and demanding that this not happen. This is why unionization is so important in Canada.

There are concerns that Canada will follow the California model to prevent unionization of workers in high-tech industries. The Dynatek venture in British Columbia which receives federal fundings should be developed as a model for both industrial productivity and fairness to workers. This means there must be co-operative planning involving labour, management and government and the basic right to collective bargaining must be respected.

In the NDP report entitled "Program for a Fair Recovery: The Challenge of Technological Change", we point out that the economic recovery has not meant a recovery of jobs for many laid-off workers who are displaced permanently by new technologies. Many high-skilled workers are redundant and lucky if they can find a low-paying service sector or part-time job. If we do not retain workers and redistribute the gains of automation, rising destitution and poverty will become a permanent result of economic recovery and so-called "increased productivity"-productivity for the few. The workers laid off

January 30, 1984

permanently from offices or pulp mills have little about which to rejoice unless some changes are made.

Our proposal is to embark upon a planning process in each sector of the economy which will find ways to manage the introduction of new technologies so that workers are protected, the gains of automation are shared and the needs of people are a top priority.

This means that the federal Government must set the example through changes to the Canada Labour Code. We cannot afford to throw away valuable human resources and the talents of the people represented in the 1.5 million unemployed in favour of corporate profits and high technology which benefits only a few. We must introduce ways of alleviating the impact of high-tech change on workers. We must also develop alternate areas of meaningful and useful work to use the talents of our people, since there will never be enough jobs for everyone in the high-tech field.

Our Leader has proposed several initiatives which will help to alleviate the impact upon workers and create an additional and new area of high-tech jobs. Very briefly, they are as follows. First, employers must provide for employee consultation in the introduction of technological change. In federal jurisdictions, this right to consultation should be built into the Canada Labour Code with a review process by an independent board when major changes are proposed.

Second, we should encourage flexible work arrangements to minimize job losses and maintain adequate incomes. For example, shorter hours of work, more flexible retirement options, flexible work arrangements for shared parenting, sabbatical and educational leave and longer holidays. In many countries in Europe, five weeks is now the average.

Third, the corporate sector must pay a fair share of the costs of technological change through longer pre-notification periods and improved severance pay. We believe that six months to one year of notice should be required under the Canada Labour Code when there will be a major technological change and displacement of workers. As I said earlier, we favour prorated benefits for part-time workers.

Canada must establish a deliberate strategy to develop micro-technology in ways that will create new jobs. We propose that 2 per cent of the GNP go to research and development to bring us into line with other countries. Much of this should be targeted to the development of high-tech in new products and new industries, thus creating new jobs.

A micro-electronic investment fund should be established to act as an industrial development tool for private, public and co-operative ventures. It should provide aid to small businesses which are willing to go into economically disadvantaged areas.

The domestic market for Canadian products should be exploited. When I visited workers' co-ops in Mondragon, Spain, I was interested to see that the co-ops were building classroom computers to be shipped to Canada. We should be doing this at home. Most important, we must have a strong

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affirmative action program and policy which is more essential than ever to ensure that women have equal access to all jobs that are created.

I would like to make an additional point which 1 call alternate areas of work in human services and communities. I would add a further area of job development which I believe is essential to compensate for the dehumanizing effects of the high-tech world as well as to meet essential human needs. There are many alternate areas of work. As we find with our Canada Works proposals, there are all kinds of ideas for jobs that are needed in communities. Jobs in child care and with the elderly, to name just two. These should be expanded with government assistance, not cut back as at present.

The Canadian Council on Social Development says that many more workers are needed in non-profit organizations. Why put people on welfare and unemployment insurance when they are needed to help each other? The Vanier Institute has studied work options in the informal economy which are very interesting. Workers' co-operatives should be expanded in Canada as a means of creating new and interesting jobs.

It is essential that Canada not sacrifice the rights and livelihood of its workers as we embrace a new age. We must protect our present workers while opening up new opportunities for the unemployed. Our goal must be full employment which provides meaningful work for all potential workers in Canada. Young people must have a future. Women must have equal opportunities. We believe it is possible to achieve this goal in Canada.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

Donald Alex Blenkarn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Blenkarn:

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Hon. Member. She indicated that perhaps the Hon. Member for Central Nova (Mr. Mulroney) was wrong, that perhaps because of the improvement of the chip women would be out of work and would be hurt. As she pointed out, the Hon. Member for Central Nova indicated that this is a revolution that will help women, one that will give them more meaningful and highly paid jobs.

Has that not been the experience with every other technological change? The Hon. Member spoke of Spain. When I was in Portugal, I saw rows of women with hoes working the land. It was almost a slave-gang type mentality. Across the street from my farm, a woman just jumps on a large tractor and plows acres and acres in a day. Is that not the experience with every form of technological change that we have had? People have better paying jobs. Jobs are easier. The drudgery has been taken away. They no longer pound away at a manual typewriter in offices; they went to the electric typewriter and now the computer. Does that not produce better wages and a better standard of living? Surely we cannot believe that our standard of living will stay frozen in stone and that jobs and opportunities will not expand as they have in the past.

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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mitchell:

Mr. Speaker, I believe the facts would not bear out the wishful thinking of the Hon. Member. One would hope that women will have an equal opportunity to be in the

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interesting jobs in the high-tech field. However, experience to date has shown, even in our Public Service, that women do not have equal opportunity for advancement. While I believe research shows that in the initial stages of change there is sometimes an increase in jobs as new systems are being brought in, there is also a de-skilling element which occurs. There is a high percentage of women in clerical and office kinds of jobs where this happens and their jobs become more routine. 1 would hope that the woman on the tractor mentioned by the Hon. Member would be paid an adequate wage.

Of course, we want women to have equal opportunities in the field of high technology, but the facts are that there will not be enough jobs to go around. The fact is that women traditionally have not had equal opportunities for the good jobs. They also are not adequately paid for what they do. I would urge the Hon. Member to look at this element realistically, and at the studies which are readily available in this field showing the very sad impact of technology on women.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

William Herbert Jarvis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jarvis:

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Hon. Member for Vancouver East (Ms. Mitchell). It is difficult for me to understand the motion of the New Democratic Party in part, at least. The Hon. Member urges the Government to incorporate five different programs into the Budget, the first of which is to provide for employee consultation with regard to technological change. The second proposed budgetary measure is to provide flexible work arrangements to minimize job losses. The third proposed budgetary measure is to ease the impact on the employees affected by technological change by having the corporate sector pay a fairer share of the costs through longer pre-notification periods and improved severance pay.

It is very hard for me to understand this motion coming from the New Democratic Party. I agree that the primary responsibility is the negotiations between employer and employee resulting in a mutually satisfactory collective agreement. The Hon. Member is urging upon the House, and upon the Government, that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Lalonde) in some form or other should address those three problems in his Budget. I simply ask the Hon. Member, whose Party shares the concern of all Hon. Members, where we are in effect, for example, in back-to-work legislation, writing a contract on the floor of the House which I believe all of us deplore doing. The Hon. Member is now urging, in effect, that compulsory measures be put into a Budget. I do not know how you can do that. I can understand Labour Code amendments and, I might say, I agree with the need for clarification of the definition of "technological change". However, what the Hon. Member is asking is to relieve the employer and employee of the basic responsibility to arrive at a mutually satisfactory collective agreement which, in my view, is certainly diametrically opposed to where I believe the primary responsibility should lie. It is not the responsibility of the Government to interfere with the collective process, but to clearly place the responsibility on the two parties who have always had that historic responsibility and who, indeed, should continue to have it with less government compulsory legislation, not more.

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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mitchell:

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member raises an important point as far as collective bargaining is concerned which, of course, is the role of the employers and employees. However, in this case the Government is the employer. We are talking about jobs in the federal jurisdiction and changes to the Labour Code which would create precedents in this whole area and establish a model which companies can follow. There are other examples of where we have had government intervention in this whole field.

1 have mentioned the need for increased research and development funds. We also feel that in the planning process for each sector government, labour and industry must be involved in planning committees. There must also be appeal committees related to some of the working conditions about which we are concerned.

I mentioned the federal responsibility for establishing unemployment insurance coverage for part-time workers. There are many ways that the federal Government can set the stage to establish these principles and facilitate a progressive human kind of development in the whole field of the micro-electronic revolution.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

William Herbert Jarvis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jarvis:

Mr. Speaker, just as long as 1 clearly understand the position of the New Democratic Party, is it that Party's position, as enunciated in this motion, that government legislation will provide for a compulsory consultative process with regard to the introduction of technological change and a compulsory flexible work arrangement to minimize job losses? How you do that in the Budget, I have no idea. I do not feel it is possible. But is it the New Democratic Party's position that the Government should legislate compulsory legislation in those two areas rather than let the employer and employee within the federal jurisdiction resolve that by collective bargaining?

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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mitchell:

Mr. Speaker, I thought I had already clarified that point. We are talking about the federal jurisdiction and Public Service area of employee-employer relationships. We are also talking about national standards which fall within the jurisdiction of the federal Government to establish. I have already mentioned those. We could talk about minimum wages as well. I mentioned the whole question of unemployment insurance regulations. However, 1 am certainly repeating what we said in the motion.

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Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

Lorne Everett Greenaway

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Greenaway:

Mr. Speaker, I was wondering if the Hon. Member could fill me in a little on her idea that we should be advocating and moving toward a five-week paid holiday. Has the Hon. Member undertaken any studies or has she seen any studies on that? How can we afford to do that in this country when we are looking at such tough competition with other countries in the world? I personally do not believe that small business can stand that kind of expense. In the business I ran 1 certainly would have had a tough time trying to afford five-weeks' paid holiday for my staff.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mitchell:

Mr. Speaker, here again I feel we have to look at what other countries are doing. In Australia, for

January 30, 1984

example, I have nursing friends who have sabbatical leave, I believe every two or three years, which in that field makes great sense. We are talking about a goal here. It has been achieved in some countries. Having been married to a small business person, I know that there are difficulties in that area. However, at the same time the only alternative for many workers is to be on unemployment insurance to which we are contributing as well. Therefore, l believe what we are talking about is a more sensible kind of planning and distribution of work, including sabbaticals, retraining programs and earlier, more flexible pensions.

I would like to mention that our own federal Armed Forces in Canada receive pensions after 25 years of work. Why should this not be the goal we are aiming at for all Canadians? Make it flexible so that people can use their potential. As they become older and their families are reared, they can do some exciting things with their lives and still have an adequate income. We are going to pay for it one way or another. We are paying for it in unemployment insurance and in the loss of human resources. We want to be productive and positive.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

Flora Isabel MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Flora MacDonald (Kingston and the Islands):

Mr. Speaker, in commenting on that last response of the Hon. Member for Vancouver East (Ms. Mitchell), I just want to say that it is a pity she was not a member of the parliamentary task force on pension reform so that she could have learned some of the realities of life. If she believes that everyone in the country can suddenly begin to receive a public pension after 25 years of work, she has at least the responsibility to answer where the money would come from to fund such a program.

This debate comes at an opportune time, Mr. Speaker. In a few short weeks the Minister of Finance (Mr. Lalonde) will bring down his Budget and with it we hope he will unveil the economic strategy for our immediate future. Be that the future of the coming months or the coming decade, high technology is going to play an increasingly important role. It is very timely, therefore, that the Government address this issue-timely and long overdue. Indeed, this whole debate is long overdue. It is well past time that the Government recognize and respond to an issue which is not simply important to the well-being of our country, but absolutely vital to the future of the country.

I deplore the fact that we always have to wait for Opposition Days for this issue to be raised. The Hon. Member for Vancouver East has raised it on behalf of the New Democratic Party today. Members on this side of the House have raised it time and time again over the last number of years but that is the only time it is raised. That has been the response of the Government to the whole issue of technological change from the beginning. Let someone else do something about it has been its response. Let someone else forge the way ahead; let someone else make the commitment of brains, money and national will; then the Government will come along after all is done.

That might be an adequate response to other issues and problems but with high technology it can only promise failure.

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In the high-tech era, to be second place is to be no place. To be "Johnny come lately" is to be "Johnny come never". Report after report and expert after expert have warned us that if we do not become a nation committed to technological innovation and leadership now, we will be left behind forever in the technological race. That is not a Doomsday saying; that is just plain common sense.

If our scientists and engineers cannot find work in this country because we are not prepared to invest in our own high-tech priorities and industries, they will quickly go where the work is. If we do not have our own industries creating competitive hardware and software, we will become dependent upon systems and supplies created and built elsewhere which may not be compatible with the Canadian experience. The branch plant mentality will be even further enforced. We will see more research and development being performed elsewhere and with it more and more jobs lost that could have been ours. This is not speculation, it is fact. We have known of the problems and challenges of high technology long enough.

A report from the Science Council of Canada has the following to say:

The development of a national policy with appropriate industrial strategies, for the production of computer hardware and software, the training and certification of men and women capable of working with the new technology, and the provision of adequate standards and safeguards for insuring that this industry serves our national interests.

That was not written or produced by the Science Council of Canada last year, nor the year before, nor the year before that; that was written, published and produced by the Science Council of Canada in 1973, over a decade ago. Yet today we still have no sign of a national policy. Our inadequacy and our unpreparedness confront us on every side. In fact, the Government compounds the failure to do anything about this issue.

Last Friday in the House we debated Bill C-12 whereby the Government is going to cut out $380 million of funding that otherwise would have gone to post-secondary education. That at a time when enrolment in universities and community colleges is escalating by 5 per cent annually; that at a time when more and more students are looking for the very training that is needed in high technology in order to be able to meet the demands of the Canada of the future; that at a time when our whole future is being imperilled by a niggardly Government that cuts back in the one area it should be supporting- training and education in high technology fields and training and education in computer technology, engineering, science and arts faculties.

The Government is trying to have it both ways, Mr. Speaker. It says that we really have to move into the future, and at the same time it is hamstringing those who would do something about it. The Canadian Association of University Teachers perhaps best summed it up in its presentation to the Macdonald Royal Commission in these words:

As we move into the 21st century, how we deal with our universities, their faculties and their students, will in large measure determine Canada's position in the next century.

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That is what this debate is all about today-where we will be in the next century in the wake of the technological revolution. What happens at the outset? The Government reduces its commitment to training, to post-secondary education, to building the youth of this country to be able to tackle the tremendous problems that lie ahead. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Government's parsimonious approach to research and development. Some of my colleagues will deal with this matter today but I want to mention briefly the comparison of Canada with other countries in the field of research and development, the areas where we should be in the forefront but are failing so obviously.

For all of our world-beating abilities in certain fields, in the area of communications, for example, we still have a great trade deficit in technology and information systems of over SI billion in 1980. That is estimated to be a trade deficit of $5 billion by 1985. France, with less of our pioneering investment in this area, has had a national goal to turn its 1981 deficit of $330 million into a surplus of $6.7 billion by 1990. To do that, the President of France has made the commitment to raise R and D expenditure by direct and indirect government support to 2.5 per cent of the French GNP by 1985. In Canada our target is 1.5 per cent, a full percentage point behind France.

In the last Budget of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Lalonde) direct R and D support of $450 million per annum was increased by $185 million, to total $635 million in the present fiscal year. The Science Council of Canada reports that the Swedish Government, in contrast to our $635 million expenditure, spent $1.2 billion directly on R and D in 1979-80. Fours years ago it was far ahead of us. The Netherlands spends only marginally less than we do with a much smaller Gross National Product. While Japan, France and others have initiated a whole range of public awareness programs to mobilize their societies to accept and meet the challenges of high technology, in Canada we have earmarked the magnificent sum of $1.5 million for public education in this tremendous field. Without a commitment to research and investment at least equal to our direct competitors, we will never develop or maintain our own technological industries.

There has been a great deal of comment about the need to bring about greater public awareness of what is happening in the field of high technology, to try to educate public attitudes to the changes taking place. I attended a conference on this subject not long ago at Harvard University and I was struck by a statement that a very learned professor made at that conference. He said that high technology would have an impact on changes to society greater than anything that has happened since the mammals came out of the sea and stood upright. That was his analysis of how tremendous the change in our society is going to be. To adapt public attitudes to that change is going to take leadership at the very highest levels, leadership which so far has been conspicuous by its absence in this country.

Time and again the federal Government's own committees and councils, reports and studies, have been specific in their proposals for someone or some authority to pull all the strings together. Governments, industry, labour, education all have to be pulled together. The social impact subcommittee of the Canadian Videotext Committee calls for a national commission charged to make recommendations on major policy issues. The Labour Minister's advisory council calls for a Cabinet committee to initiate and co-ordinate technological policy. The Science Council wants a First Minister's advisory committee. The micro-electronics task force wants a centre for technology, work and human priorities, which will report directly to Parliament annually. Our counterparts in Europe and Japan have already gone through this process and we still lag so far behind.

Sir, the road ahead of us is no easy one. It is not paved with yellow brick, nor is our destination truly known. But it is the only road forward and our competitors are already firmly launched on it. As one Dutch politician said of the same circumstances facing his country, it is like a gold fever. "Those who are not moving fast enough will miss the boat. Those who fail to take the lead are forever left behind. Those who fail to join the race are forever handicapped". That, Sir, is the position in which Canada seems to be at this time.

I now want to come to an area of particular importance to me, that of high technology and its impact upon women- women in the labour force and in the home. There have been many, many studies done, Sir, which have clearly indicated the position of women. It is indicated particularly that it will be critical for women if this issue is not faced clearly and faced now. There can be no doubt that women will bear the brunt of job displacement. That has been said on many occasions. The change in the structure of work will have a profound effect on women. The dangers of job ghettos and the entrenchment of women in low paid, low skill employment is very real. Clearly the social consequences for women are tremendous if they do not get an equal opportunity at training for the jobs of tomorrow.

The Government's response to date is clearly inadequate. It does not even recognize that women have a particular problem with technological change, as was evidenced in the speech given by the Minister responsible for the status of women. Just last week, on January 26, she spent one minute of her speech in the Throne Speech debate dealing with this issue, and then ended up by patting herself on the back and saying: "We established a task force on micro-technology through Labour Canada". Well, Sir, we have that task force report "In The Chips: Opportunities, People And Partnership", but not a thing has been done about it for two and a half years.

Already, Mr. Speaker, we face the prospect of over one million unemployed for the balance of this decade. There will be a further million added to the job loss we presently see in our society. These are jobs to be lost as a result of technological change, and most of them, it has been predicted, will be those traditionally performed by women. High technology is in progress around the world and is not going to grind to a halt.

January 30, 1984

The Hon. Member for Vancouver East mentioned the Luddites. What I gathered from her speech is that she is prepared to see the country go that way again. Certainly she was not prepared to face up to the problem of moving forward, that there is no status quo and we cannot stand still. That approach did not work in the 19th century and it will not work in this century. Ironically, as much as electronics threatens the jobs of women, as much as many women are unprepared for the changes ahead, nevertheless 1 truly believe that, because of high technology, women may be able to make the breakthrough so long denied them to arrive at real economic parity with males in the work force. I truly believe that. Jobs and careers are going to be created for which no one in our society is presently trained to perform.

This summer, Sir, I had the opportunity to spend two intensive weeks in the Bell Research Laboratories. I saw the breakthroughs which can be made if people are willing to undergo the kind of training that should be made available. The one great benefit of high technology is its complete indifference to bias of any kind, be it colour, race, creed or sex. The majority of us are equal at the beginning of a new era. Women have just as much ability to train and compete in the world of high technology as men. The most important prerequisite, the most important even beyond a scientific background, Sir, is the capacity for clear and logical thinking and the ability to articulate those thoughts with precision. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that in those areas women need have no fear of holding their own with men.

There is no question in my mind and there should be none in the minds of anyone else that women can take command of the software systems which will account for four-fifths of the jobs which will become available through the technological revolution. They can do that as well as men.

1 will close on this note, Sir. The potential exists for women to participate as full and equal partners in the jobs and skills of the Canadian economy, but it is no foregone conclusion. Women still face stereotyping and the barriers of traditional thought. Our schools and educational system do that. Governments, unions and employers still fail to recognize the urgent need to establish comprehensive re-education and retraining programs to give displaced workers, most of whom will be women, the opportunity to compete in these new fields.

That is where this debate should be leading. We cannot stand back and say that others will bring this debate forward and create the structures that are needed. There has to be movement by industry and labour unions, which are locked into the past, as well as by the educational system. The leadership has to be provided by government. To date that has not been forthcoming. I would hope that as we move into the Budget debate in the weeks ahead we will see far more effort on the part of the Government to tackle this major revolution than we have seen to date.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Mr. Speaker, 1 have two or three questions I would like to put to the Hon. Member. There were some

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contradictions in her statements. I would like to point out two or three conflicts that I detected and then ask her to clarify them.

There was a very clear demonstration in the majority of her speech that the motion before us asking the Government to take action was a misplaced initiative; rather, the private sector must lead the way and we must discontinue manipulating the movement of technological change in the best interest of people. In the final moments of her speech, on the other hand, she seemed to be saying that the Government must show the leadership, provide the initiative and be the catalyst for this kind of changing world to ensure that the best interests of all Canadians are met with new technology.

She stated that women had the same opportunity as men to prepare for the technologically changing world. She then went on to say that because of the stereotyping which goes on employers, governments, trade unions and the educational institutions of Canada do not treat women equally. If they all do not treat women equally because of the stereotyping that is in place, how does this equal opportunity exist for women to retrain?

The Hon. Member went on to say that every one is at an equal point now to prepare for this changing technological world, that there are no biases based on sex, colour or religion. Presumably that would also include income.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

Flora Isabel MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Miss MacDonald:

Obviously you were not listening.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

I was attempting to listen. I may have misinterpreted some of the remarks the Hon. Member made. We have one and one-half million people unemployed and many more Canadians working on a part-time basis, causing family incomes to be extremely limited. At the same time, university tuition fees are increasing to the point where the minimum cost to a family to send a youngster to a university such as the University of British Columbia would be $5,000. At the same time enrolments are being limited. In view of this, how can the Hon. Member say that equal opportunity exists for many youngsters in Canadian families?

Can she explain the reasons for those three apparent contradictions?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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PC

Flora Isabel MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Miss MacDonald:

Mr. Speaker, I have always found that before Members of the New Democratic Party approach any question they have their minds made up as to the answer or the discussion which will take place. No matter what happens or what is said, they interpret it to their own way of thinking.

I do not have the latitude, Sir, and you will not allow me that, to go back and repeat my speech so that the Hon. Member could listen somewhat more carefully than he obviously did the first time. If I may, I would commend to him that he read what I had to say. It may be somewhat educational. He may understand that I dealt with the question of research and development and the Canadian contribution to that. Obviously I was speaking of government when I did that. I mentioned it on a number of occasions. He was not listening. I mentioned a number of other things, such as the commitment

January 30, 1984

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to public education. That was part of the whole recommendation of the task force on micro-electronics. That, too, was incorporated in what government would do.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY S O. 62-TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
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January 30, 1984